Grave - Ola Lindgren

What does it mean to you to be a part of this Swedish extreme metal extravaganza here on the Close Up Båten cruise?

Yes its very cool to have all the old bands that are still going on so we call it like "a old school kindergarten". Its very cool, everybody knows everybody and we were very happy to be invited to play here.


So this year marks the 30th anniversary of you forming the band, has the journey been an expected one or has it totally taken you by surprise?

No i don't think we had any expectations like that or any plans at all really. I guess we were hoping to be able to release an album, that was the goal we had when we started out. Its been very strange but very cool thats its still going on today.

Obviously since you formed the band there has been a lot of bands that have formed but have ultimately split up, or have now got back together again. What is it that has kept you going after all this time where a lot of bands have fallen into the abyss?

Im not sure really but having the right people in the band helps, even though we have had line up changes of course which is hard not to have over such a large period of time but the line up we have now I am very happy with and it works for writing and on a personal level also. We never have any issues with anything really so its just about having fun.

I was actually going to ask about the current line as "Out of respect for the dead" is the second album that the four of you have recorded together, how was it compared to the previous album? Did the other guys have more of an input on the song writing elements of the album?

It was pretty much the same I think. The first album that they were on was very much a joint effort, a collaboration where everyone brought ideas and riffs to the table so they were in there from the get go.

Where do you rank the current Grave line up compared to previous incarnations of the band?

They are much more involved in the writing process which makes it a lot easier for me and takes the pressure off of me and it also makes for more interesting songs and material when everybody is having an input into the songs.

The latest album you released is called "Out of respect for the dead". How did you come up with that album title and is it aimed at any one in particular?

No not really.

For me I feel that " Out of respect for the dead" is your strongest album in recent years. Do you feel the same about the album and was there anything different in the writing/recording process for this album?

Yeah definitely. We had a good feeling from the start when we did the first two or three songs, they felt very strong, very complete, very interesting so it was very easy to write the rest of the album. I think we wrote the whole thing in a month or so and then we recorded it straight away. I think its a good continuation from the previous album and its kinda in the same vein and sound. I wouldn't say there's modern influences on it but there's some interesting stuff going on where we are piling riffs on top of each other.


You say about "Out of respect for the dead" being a continuation from the previous album, some bands have a three or four album cycle where they are developing and playing with different sounds, are you in that kind of period or are you just writing whatever comes to mind first?

No its just whatever come stop us first.

How did you find it recording and mixing your own albums in your own studio? How are finding it doing things that way and do you think that you may miss out on sometimes on an outsiders input or opinion or maybe even something that you may not have picked up on?

Yeah. It goes both ways really. Its a very relaxing way of doing things for us as we don't have any pressure regarding costs or time, its very laid back and we can take a week off if we want to so its a very relaxing way but then again its very hard to say enough when its done.

Do you find that its very hard to criticise your own work seeing as you're doing everything yourself?

In a way but it would be a lot easier if we had another point from someone who has written or recording the songs when it comes to finalising everything.

You have eleven studio albums behind you now, do you have any personal favourite albums or a personal favourite song to play live?

Its always very fun to play newer stuff of course. Today we only did two new songs but we normally play three or four from the new album. When you write the setlist you always think that we have to play particular songs and feel as if you have to play them but once you're on stage they are all very fun to play still. Its weird that the songs you play the most are still great.

Do you choose songs that you personally want to play or do you choose songs that you know the fans will want to see live?

Its both I think really.

What do you think makes death metal relevant after all these years? Do you think that Swedish death metal is still the strongest in the genre, what makes it so special and do you think its in a strong place right now?

Its in a very strong place right now. Its a total different style, I don't know if there are bands trying to copy the Swedish style but the American style of death metal and the polish style is totally different. The Swedish style has never been about speed or technical stuff. Its very riff based like old school hard rock or metal. Its the riffs that are important.


As you say its very riff orientated which I love but with yourselves you do also bring a bit of that speed into your song writing which makes you stand apart from some of the other Swedish bands.

Yeah definitely.

What are the plans for Grave as we head in to 2017?

There are some things planned but not too much. No tours or anything like that, just some festival appearances. We are actually going to try to start writing for a new album and then hopefully if everything works out then we will start to record before the summer hopefully.